Family is important. It’s good to make memories and record family relationships on a regular basis, and to capture images that will be good enough to frame and hang in the family home. Traditionally, this is the work of the professional photographer, who has the proper training, equipment and experience to produce fantastic images.
So, we always welcome families to the studio at Dundonald – like these three happy sisters…
Sometimes it’s a good practice to look back at image one has made over the years, – with a critical eye! Here’s a few I’ve been mulling over recently:-
This image of the Playhouse Theatre, Derry/Londonderry was part of a commercial commission. The brief was to show the effect of the lights on the wall opposite the Theatre.
This simple image of Slieve Bunion, in Co Down, part of the ‘Mountains of Mourne’ range has been one of my very best sellers! I’ve sold this image in framed prints, magnets, even mugs!
This image of Ballycopeland Windmill in Co. Down is a real quirk, as anyone who knows it would realise! It is of course, heavily photoshopped, to show the sun rising in the North! Just for a wee change.
And finally, for this selection, an image that’s just a little more personal…
This image of Janette’s parent’s old kitchen, after they’d moved out of the farmhouse, was part of an exhibition at the Curve Gallery, Belfast. I called it ‘Dereliction.’
Excitement! Just in time for the Christmas Gift Season, Bob has introduced a series of Black and White Giclee Prints, high quality, Black and White Images featuring iconic but lesser known Irish Scenes and Landscapes – available as Mounted Prints – ideal for shipping abroad – or as Framed Prints.
Limited Editions – there are only 120 of each of these prints available for sale, each one signed, numbered and dated by the photographer. Check out the order page here:
A visit to the cafe at Dundonald Old Mill is an opportunity to make an image of the historic mill waterwheel at the building. I photographed it from several angles, using the Nikon F100, and a role of Ilford Delta ISO100. Here’s one of the resulting images…
Driving in the lovely Autumn sunshine today, near Purdysburn, outside Belfast, I came across this old, isolated gatepost, just begging to be photographed! Observe the texture in the old post, and the background and foreground interest in the image, giving it a sense of depth and distance.
At a funeral on the Shankill Road in Belfast this morning, we had a horse-drawn hearse! But what a surprise when a second horse-drawn hearse came down the road, from another funeral director’s office! These black horses and ornate carriages are very beautiful indeed, which contrasts greatly with their environment for this solemn task they must perform, for they are standing in a grubby unlived-in side street in Belfast, with graffiti-strewn walls and grimy murals.
On Friday 12th September 2015, between appointments, I took a stroll through Alexandra Park, in north Belfast. It was a poignant, nostalgic break in an otherwise mundane day, for I hadn’t gone to this park to exercise my legs, but to exercise my memory. My grandparents, Bob and Jeannie Kirk had lived in this park, in the gardener’s house, in the late 1950’s and early 60’s. Bob Kirk had been the foreman gardener at Glenbank Park in Ligoneil (where I was born) and his move to Alexandra Park as forman gardener would have been seen as a promotion. He took up residence in the Park Lodge, and remained there until retirement in 1965. While they lived there, I spent many happy days and evenings with them, travelling over by bus, down the Falls Road, and catching the No.77 Belfast Corporation Bus, (That famous bus route that wound through the streets of Belfast from the Gasworks to the Waterworks) alighting at the Waterworks.
I’ve been playing with an iphone app called ‘Hueless.’ It’s an excellent piece of technology, allowing the phone’s camera to shoot in monochrome, and giving the photographer great control over the capture of the image. the user interface screen is intuitive and easy to use. it features accurate autofocus achieved by a simple tap on the screen to set the focus point. There’s a drop down control to alter the exposure and contrast on the screen, so you can see the end result before the snap is taken. There’s a series of optional presets which the photographer can set up for instant camera control, and cropping to photo-sizes is easily achieved by pinching the screen. If you are for ate enough to own an iPhone 6 (and I don’t) then there’s even an option for high ISO shooting to make low light shots possible.
Here’s a selection of images I captured at the Tullyglass Hotel, and later in Belfast with the app.
No monochrome camera is complete without filters, and the Hueless app offers a drop-down menu with the standard filters one would use with a black and white film camera. Here’s an image with the red filter:-
Really, for a couple of quid, its a fantastic app, get it at the Apple App Store! Dont be clueless, get Hueless, – it’s just about flawless!!!
On Friday 17th July I visited Belfast City Cemetery on the Falls Road to conduct a funeral service. Waiting for the hearse to arrive I noticed an imposing Celtic Cross in the old section of the cemetery. A photo-opportunity! I had left the camera equipment in the house the night before, so once again I resorted to the use of the mobile phone! Never underestimate what you can do with an iPhone camera! Here’s the result…